365 Day Project Prints in my Shop!

Have you seen my posts on Instagram this month? I decided to do a 365 Day project. Have a look here if you haven’t see the work so far!

Why a daily project? Well, I want to be accountable to myself to make something every day and I really like seeing my style evolve with daily art-making. I felt the accountability challenges I have done (The 100 Day Project here and Inktober here) really were great for improving my skills with drawing and watercolors. So here’s hoping for more of that!

I am following an astrology-related theme for some of the drawings to give me some focus. I even added my word of the year to one of my favorites and shared that in last week’s blog which I thought was neat.

Have a look below for some recent drawings and pop over to my shop to see what originals, unframed prints and framed prints I have available!

2019 Word of the Year - plus upcoming classes and exhibits!

word of the year 2019 image.jpg

Do you choose a word of the year? I did for the first time in 2018 - Flow. I loved the opportunity to set goals for the year ahead and use this word throughout the year in my art.

My 2019 word? FOCUS … I want to:

  • Focus my attention on art and projects that give me joy (and less on distractions)

  • Focus on my health and nurturing my family

  • Focus on going deeper with how spirituality plays a role in my life

  • Focus on connections

Coming up for 2019 I have a few things scheduled already - exhibits, workshops, and more!

v2-Auspicious Beginnings 2019.jpg

Join me and yogi Elizabeth Brown for a weekend yoga retreat to prepare for the new year. As a part of this retreat, I am teaching a bookbinding class for us to make a journal to prepare for and reflect in throughout 2019. We will use special papers that I have collected (and you can bring meaningful papers from home) to build this special book. I’ll provide the lesson and some time for reflection after one of Elizabeth’s amazing classes. Four yoga classes, chef on site for all meals provided, amazing connections to be made.

Want to come? Email me or Elizabeth@steepedingrace.com directly… it will really be an awesome way to kick off the year!

Plus, I have scheduled four classes in Newburyport at Newburyport Art Association. You can find more about those on my workshop page. Registration is open and I’ve heard people are signing up already, so now is the time to plan this into your schedule! Link to sign up here.

Crow_CJBethmann_2018.jpg

I will be scheduling other classes this year soon. Join my mailing list to be informed of new class announcements as they come up throughout the year!

I’m also in four planned exhibits and I am working on adding a few more. The details:

Crows, Group Show at Essex Art Center, Lawrence, MA. RECEPTION 1/11 5-7pm

New Members Show 2019 at Newburyport Art Association, Newburyport, MA RECEPTION 1/12 7-9pm

Printmaking Group Show 2019 at Newburyport Art Association, Newburyport, MA June 25 - July 7, 2019.

Three Women, Small Group Show (with my mom and sister!) at Tannery Pond Gallery, North Creek, NY July 27 - August 29, 2019. 

What are your plans for this coming year? I’d love to hear your word of the year! Send me a note!

At the Waters Edge, Cold Wax and Oil Painting

At the Waters Edge, Cold Wax and Oil Painting

Tarot Spread for the Year Ahead and a Rituals Flip Through Video

I haven’t talked much about my interest in Tarot here… I am just a beginner in the study of this deep realm.

I enjoy using the Tarot to do a daily card pull and journal about the card and how it fits into my life.

Last year around this time I also did a 13 card reading and used it in my work in Rituals - an online visual journaling class led by Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. Registration to join for this coming year is only open through Jan 15, 2019 through that link. A really great, really deep class - I would not hesitate to sign up and was actually considering going through it again.

Below is a picture of my opening spread to this journal. The left side is the words as set using my 13 card spread and the right side was completed one month at a time.

Rituals Spread.jpg

I did a flip through on my YouTube channel, here.

Ok, back to the Tarot.

The decks I have are the Wild Unknown and The Fountain Tarot. I have used my Wild Unknown deck for my learning to date and received The Fountain Tarot deck this year as a gift. People say that each deck has a feeling - it is really true! When I was looking for my first deck I was advised to trust my interest in the imagery as a way to choose a deck. The Wild Unknown is a beautiful deck!

I regularly reference this blog - The Royal Road - to search the deeper meanings of each card. The small guidebooks within each set are helpful, but really just the tip of the iceberg.

Check out my pinterest board on the topic for some examples of these spreads and more. A few sample card pulls to try (that can be found on the pinterest board):

Daily Card:: Shuffle the deck and place face down. Pick a card that calls to you and review the image. Before looking up the meaning right away think about what you interpret the meaning to be. Research the meaning and take some time to journal your initial reaction and how this card might fit in your plans for the day ahead.

13 Card Year-Ahead:: For the 13 card spread, you shuffle a deck of your choice and fan out the cards face down. Pull at random one card for each month of the year. You can shuffle in between each pull or not. BE thoughtful and quiet in this action. Lay out cards you have pulled on your desk or table in a circle going clockwise with January at the top. The 13th card is placed in the center and defines the overarching tone for the year. Some people only pull from the major arcana for this spread, which simplifies it a little and makes good sense especially if the full deck and suits seems overwhelming.

7 Card Year-Ahead:: The 7-card spread is another year-ahead option. This spread as I have used it reflects on the past year and incorporates what you have learned into the year ahead. I like this method and may try this for 2019 as well as the 13 card spread I have already pulled.

Best wishes for you in 2019! Happy New Year!

Space Zine - Free Online Tutorial

I decided to film a quick tutorial about how I made my Space Zine as a way to share the news that I have an “online tutorials” page new on my website here.

I am planning to share lots of resources and tutorials here this coming year. Plus, you can always subscribe to my You Tube Channel to be notified of the latest video releases. I made 13 videos this year (!) and hope to make at least that many again in 2019.

If you try the zine idea let me know what you think. I’d love to see what you make, please tag me over on Instagram!

Holiday Order Deadlines

OK friends, we are in the home stretch! If you are still looking for a unique holiday gift for someone special I still have original art, printables, prints, and even access to art classes available for you to give this season!

Holiday ORDER DEADLINES;

>>> Prints - Order by 12/13 overnight shipping to receive by Christmas

>>> In-Person - I have framed prints for sale at Rhythm Cafe in Merrimac through 12/22

>>> Original Art - Order by 12/19 priority shipping to receive by Christmas

>>> Printables - Order by 12/24 to receive download and print at home by Christmas

See something you love but is not mentioned here? Reach out to me and I would be glad to set it up!

final hen.jpg

#CarveDecember

As the year winds to a close it has become a tradition for me to get involved in Carve December. This is an instagram challenge planned by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, an amazing artist and author of Carve, Stamp, Play. I share her book as a resource in my blockprinting classes.

Why another challenge? I really believe that these challenges have moved my work forward. Last year I participated in this challenge and since then I have started teaching in-person blockprinting classes. Other challenges this year, the 100 Day project and Inktober, both pushed my style forward. I am excited for what has yet to bubble up there. So, I think challenges can be hard, but also so good. You can’t help but see progress with a daily art-making practice.

For this year’s #CarveDecember Julie has provided some prompts for the month. So far I am going along with them; that is a first for me, usually I follow my own whims. I want to try to make two-color stamps, but of course that means I have to make more than one stamp. Some days that just might not be possible. I am also interested in trying a stamp that connects to itself to make a larger image. That requires some careful measuring… we will see what the month brings.

For now, here are my stamps from the first few days. Please follow me on Instagram for the daily updates!

New Holiday Paintings in my Shop

I was inspired to paint a wreath of greenery around a few of my favorite subjects and also added a new reindeer painting to make it a set of four! I printed these up as postcards to send out for the holidays and thought I would share the originals with you! Purchase in my shop!

I love having a holiday-themed piece of art near my front door or on the fireplace mantel and these would be perfect for that! In October had a phases of the moon print and my Crow painting on display, and think I am going to pop one of these into a frame for December!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Untitled design.jpg

Who likes to make holiday cards (and gift tags)? December classes at two locations!

I know Thanksgiving is looming for most of us, but I wanted to share some upcoming classes with you this week!

I made up the samples for these two classes and was reminded that making cards is fun! When I was younger, and my card list a lot shorter, I used to make my own cards every year. Then I got into the trend for a few (10+) years of sending photo cards. Last year I got back into handmade cards and sent handmade postcards for the holidays. I loved making and sending those out; something a little different for the mailbox, right?

Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Well this year you have the chance to make two types of cards (or gift tags if you already have your cards made…) with me!

The first class is 12/5 7-9pm at Circle of Stitches in Salem, MA. In this class we will be focused on blockprinting with the end result to make a few stamps to use on cards and tags. Having your own stamps means you can cover cards, tags, gift wrap, and other items with your own design in any color you choose! For this class, wee will stamp onto plain paper and then attach that to a card or tag base. I will bring all the materials (note: there is a $10 materials fee for this class). Sign up over at the Circle of Stitches website.

Collage Cards 12/7

Collage Cards 12/7

The second class is 12/7 1-3pm (yes, in the afternoon) at Newburyport Art Association. In this class we will be collage-ing our way into the holidays. Newburyport Art Association will provide lots of fun papers and ideas to get you started as well as the card/tag bases. I will bring a few store bought stamps to share as well. Note that the class I am leading is for adults only, but there is one for families on 12/8 led by Sue Spellman if you are interested. Choose the right time for you at check-out over at the Newburyport Art Association website.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season friends!!

Ubuntu Journal Flip Thru

Over with Get Messy I participated in the “Season of Ubuntu”. I’ve talked about Get Messy before on the blog, have a look here for more details. The season format really gets me making on a daily basis and this season we were encouraged to work small. I chose a small journal that I had made from scraps of different papers. At first I was worried it was going to have too many pages for the two month season, but I added in the lessons from Messy Marks, a class offered by Torri at Fox and Hazel (also on Get Messy’s membership site). I really love how this little book turned out!

Enjoy the flip thru!

Intuitive Journals from class with Orly Avineri

At the start of October I attended a week long retreat with artist Orly Avineri at Unity Farm Sanctuary in Sherborn, MA. I thought it might be nice to share my journals from this class. I would say they are very much still in process…and may be “in process” for a long time. Something about that is so comforting to me. I don’t feel the need to finish these; I actually don’t know if they could ever BE finished! I have continued to add to them since the class. I love having them on the side of my desk when inspiration strikes. Enjoy this little flip through!

Celebrating Halloween - Phases of the Moon Blockprinting Class

ACS_0081.jpg

This coming Friday I am going to be teaching a new blockprinting class in Salem, MA. Salem is a hub for Halloween festivities throughout the month of October and there are many super fun things to do there. My friend Ana Campos, owner of Circle of Stitches, asked if I would teach a class that might fit with the Halloween theme at her shop this month. We came up with the idea of a class where students will make stamps to capture 5 phases of the moon.

In this class, students will make three stamps with an option for a fourth. I will demo a choice for a new moon or a full moon-or both. You can see the difference in the photo to the right.

I will offer printing in silver or white on black paper or black onto white paper. We will get to use a gelli plate as a large stamp pad for the white and silver paints-fun! The finished print will be something suitable for framing. Plus, students will bring the stamps home and can make more prints as they wish. These can be printed on dishtowels and light cotton fabric (using fabric paint for wash-ability) as well as many types of papers.

Should be a fun night! If you are interested register at Circle of Stitches directly.

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

September daily journal challenge

This month I took the September 30 days of art journalling challenge on Creative Bug led by Lauren and Caylee of Get Messy. As a lifetime Get Messy member I did get the class for free and two months of Creative Bug also… what a steal!

While I don’t love every page, there are some good nuggets in here for sure! I also was more productive overall by getting that journal open every day. Kicked off a lot of other creative projects this month.

Creative challenges for the win! Here is a flip through video of my entire journal. Enjoy!

Season of Seasons pages

The past two months was the Seasons of Seasons over at Get Messy. I used a travel brochure I received in the mail as my journal this time. There are nine spreads plus the covers, so I basically followed along with the tutorials offered by the creative team. Get Messy also does a handful of prompts every week, but I knew I wouldn’t have the time for those, so I didn’t factor that into my journal size.

I always enjoy the tutorials! This month there were a few outside of my comfort zone, like the seasonal map and drawing the contents of my purse (which was the last one and definitely got the least attention). I am not sure those are my style, but they were still fun to do.

Enjoy!

Oil Pastel Sketches

You may remember that I mentioned the series of cold wax oil paintings I’m working on in an earlier blog post. They have been sitting in the studio…simmering (thanks to Tiffany Han for the word—simmer—that perfectly describes this phase of a new idea) for a month or more. While they have been on the back burner I have taken a landscape painting class, completed a number of collages based on landscapes, and done a ton of landscape sketches.

Then, last week I got out my oil pastels and sketched out more landscapes on pages in a paper bag journal (that also holds the collages …shared here).

Ohhhh boy…oil pastels are so fun to work with. Each day I was super excited to get back to these. When completed, I covered each page with Matte Varnish and there is a sheet of wax paper between each page as they really stick together.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve moved the paintings to the front burner. I shared some process on my Instagram Highlights. But for now, here are a few of my favorite oil pastel sketches from this week! Also, bought some oil sticks… oh I can’t wait to use those!

Pressing Matters - MGNE Open Members Show September 28-November 2, 2018

My print “Mandala: Peace” ready for hanging

My print “Mandala: Peace” ready for hanging

I am excited to have a piece in the upcoming open members exhibit of the Monotype Guild of New England (MGNE). “Pressing Matters” will be on view at Lynn Arts, (enter on 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA September 28 - November 2, 2018.

Barbara and I chatted it up while waiting for artists to drop off their work

Barbara and I chatted it up while waiting for artists to drop off their work

I recently joined MGNE at the advice of some new printmaking friends and was quickly recruited to help with art work drop off this weekend. Also volunteering was artist Barbara Kedesdy and I enjoyed getting to know her a little better! We helped artists fill out the right forms, unwrap, and prepare to drop off their work. Many artists would bring multiple pieces from other artists in their section of New England as well as their own so a pretty big geographic range is represented in this show!

An artists reception will be held September 28, 5:30-7:30pm and the show is on view from the reception date through November 2,, 2018.

Here are a few snaps of some of the work that was dropped off today. A great variety of printmaking styles and themes - It is going to be a beautiful show!

Barbara’s print in the center, surrounded by some other beautiful work!

Barbara’s print in the center, surrounded by some other beautiful work!

All size works - love both of these pieces

All size works - love both of these pieces

The center piece is a collage of monotypes

The center piece is a collage of monotypes

Summer 2018 Sketchbook Video

This summer I did a short sketchbook for our travels to NYC and the Adirondacks. I blogged about the trip a few weeks ago here.

Last summer, I did a larger (and longer) sketchbook that captured our many beach days. That flip thru was one of my very first videos... have a look here.

This summer, I kept it a little simpler, with more of a vibe of what we did during this trip on each page. Plus, I included some brush lettering practice. Have a look at this video and let me know what you think!